Does My Pet Need Regular Dental Care?

Does your pet have bad breath? A bad odor from the mouth (halitosis) can be a sign of serious problems for your pet, such as periodontal disease which could lead to systemic infection.

Did you know that a recent study by the American Veterinary Dental Society found that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. 

Some common signs of oral disease include:
*Bad breath
*Inflamed Gums
*Adnormal drooling
*Yellow-brown crust on teeth
*Bleeding gums
*Change of chewing or eating habits

Oral disease starts with the build up of bacteria. Once this bacteria combines with saliva and food, it can cause plaque formations that begin to accumulate on the teeth and eventually form tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove by hand and needs specialized dental scalers to remove. 

Not addressing oral problems early could lead to periodontal disease which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth, tooth loss, oral pain and systemic complications. The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease may damage other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, or lead to other serious healht problems. 

Prevention is the key to a healthy mouth for your pet. Prevention starts with routine physical examination by us, which includes a dental exam. We can assess your pet's oral health and whether home care, such as routine brushing with toothpast desinged for pets, or professional care are needed. 

Pets won't let us throughly examine and clean their teeth while they're awake, which is why professional dental care for your pet requires anesthesia. Prior to any anesthesia we will perform a physical examination and run bloodwork to assess the best anesthetic agents. 

While your pet is under antesthesia, monitoring their vitals signs, such as heart rate, body temperature, oxygen level, and blood pressure, helps to ensure your pet is safe while undergoing their dental procedure. 

Dental radiographs (x-rays) may be taken to help us better assess the condition of your pet's teeth. Often problems exist under the gum line which a visual exam alone cannot detect. These x-rays can also help confirm whether certain teeth need to be extracted or not. 

Profession dental cleanings include the removal of dental tartar using an ultrasonic scaler, the same equipment a human dentist uses. Next the teeth will be polished to smooth any scratches in the tooth enamel with a specialixed past for pets, this will prevent tartar form attaching to the teeth immediately. Lastly a barrier sealant, such as OraVet, will be applied to hlep prevent the future buildup of plaque. 

Caring for you pet's mouth and teeth is an important part in keeping your pet free from pain and helps to prolong their lives by preventing heart disease and infections.